Pharmacy Business Management and Strategic Leadership, University of Waterloo - Buy Bentyl

Pharmacy Business Management and Strategic Leadership, University of Waterloo

Pharmacy Business Management and Strategic Leadership, University of Waterloo

By Bryan Wright 0 Comment December 4, 2019


Pharmacy as an industry in Canada is in a
state of redefinition, and navigating the changes requires understanding of the forces
that are at work here. So let’s start with a little bit of a background. In our current
state of operation, by the year 2036, it’s estimated that 25% of the population will
be 65 years or older. Now match that with a 10% reduction in workforce… what does
this mean? It means that costs will finally outpace revenues, and our healthcare system
will no longer be sustainable. Actually, it’s estimated that by this time,
government health spending will equal 100% of total revenues in the majority of Canadian
provinces, if the most recent 10-year trends continue. Now, add to this the fact that already
about half of the Canadian population, that is, more than over 16 million Canadians, live
with some chronic condition and that the incidence is increasing, and you can see that the health
care system is in trouble. Public spending on healthcare has risen at
an uncomfortably high rate over the past decade. Much like in the US, Canada will need to have
a serious debate in the coming years about the sustainability of its healthcare system. So the question is, how do you balance affordability
with sustainability, given that public per capita spending on health care is projected
to increase by 58 per cent, which amounts to more than a projected $7,000/per capita,
per year cost, just by 2016. So where does Pharmacy fit into this? To date
pharmacy is practicing according to a commoditized drug distribution model. Further, we know
that due to the unsustainability of the current healthcare model, the government is forced
to and will continue to make cuts in spending, while at the same time trying to increase
public access to healthcare. For instance, generic drug costs of the top six drugs in
Canada recently decreased to 18% that of brand price, and more cuts like this are likely
on the horizon. These cut backs of course impact the bottom line of pharmacies, and
economically stimulate a trend whereby pharmacy as a commoditized drug distribution model
is pushed to compete on cost alone. Worse yet, the supply of pharmacists is increasing,
as pharmacy is the fastest growing health care profession in Canada. This is matched
against a declining growth rate of pharmacies, due in part largely by legislative changes,
as well as the restructuring of the environment. So, put together, this translates to an increasingly
excess supply of the current pharmacist service in a system that has diminished demand, which
of course impacts profits for owners and wages for pharmacists. In short pharmacy is a maturing
market in Canada, despite a strongly growing demand by the public for access to healthcare. As previously noted, the government needs
to improve access to healthcare, while at the same time decrease costs with the primary
goal in mind to maintain the sustainability of our healthcare system. A less expensive
way to increase healthcare access means a continuing increased scope for pharmacists
and other front line healthcare professionals, which translates to strong opportunities for
first movers who can effectively reorient their business models, but this is just the
beginning. Pharmacists occupy spaces that cannot be occupied
in efficiency or ‘professional literacy’ by any other profession. This depiction of what
I call, or like to call, the healthcare continuum is siloed in each of the access points shown
here and this translates to economic slack and increased costs to healthcare. The World
Health Organization estimates that this may account for up to 40% wastage in the average
healthcare system, including Canada. If you look at crossing these barriers and interfacing
the various silos between doctors and patients, government and clinicians, etc, etc. These
are roles best and often already occupied by pharmacists. The point here is that pharmacy
is a unique and highly versatile skill set that has barely been tapped into or applied.
But, if pharmacists could identify the opportunities and apply their skills, especially in light
of the current need, the opportunities that could await pharmacists are lucrative and
are enormous. But this takes a redefinition of the norm…a
paradigm shift if you will and that requires understanding of the economic imperatives
of all the stakeholders in our healthcare system, understanding of the external environments
and trends, internal understanding of competences and what value can really and effectively
be captured. In short, management. Management entails in one form or another an iterative
process of analysis of your internal and external environments, planning across functional levels
of business and a unifying an alignment strategy, understanding how to implement your plans
and keep track of progress. All this as an ongoing and iterative process. Understanding
and effectively applying global management principles is critical to the business of
pharmacy. I’ve been asked many times by different health
care professionals if management is pertinent to their industry and sector, be it profit
or not-for-profit, and my answer is always the same, only if you are interested in being
sustainable.

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